Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Deputy Secretary-General Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) cited a number of scandals in a Facebook post, such as industrial waste having been dumped on farmland in Tainan’s Syuejia District (學甲), acceptance of bribes from optoelectronics companies, two shooting incidents involving 88 bullets, and disputes over the election of city councilors in Tainan.
These cases involve DPP politicians, with some of them connected to organized crime in Tainan. Lin’s post was short, but sound. He has candidly identified some of the DPP’s internal problems before and after the local elections. His post is worth consideration, as such problems have long plagued the party.
The election results should have set alarm bells ringing for the DPP. The party must seriously examine itself — better late than never. Even before the elections, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) highlighted the DPP’s connections to organized crime.
Although the KMT has the same problem within its ranks, the DPP should not justify its own shortcomings by pointing the finger at others. Using others’ weakness to cover up one’s own is not a wise strategy. After the elections, it is more than obvious that the DPP has lost people’s trust and many have wavered in their support for the party.
It is undeniable that the DPP has been caught in a compromising position. The party has been challenged in many unprecedented ways, such as with the COVID-19 pandemic and China’s escalated military drills. Now it must face its losses in the local elections.
The DPP has disappointed many supporters. The cases that Lin cited on Facebook are particularly crucial. It is regrettable that some DPP politicians attempted to belittle him after he made the post.
Rather than pushing out its critics, the DPP must accept as many viewpoints as it can. If the DPP treats those who offer different opinions by taking revenge on them, it would become no different from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which rules China and its people under authoritarian rule.
Many have wondered why the DPP has failed to uphold its standards. Take for example the case of former DPP Central Executive Committee member Kuo Tsai-chin (郭再欽), who was accused of dumping industrial waste on farmland, from which his companies earned a reported NT$2.1 billion (US$68.33 million). Lin said that Kuo should resign from the DPP.
Also consider that re-elected Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) has corruption-related problems to deal with. For example, Tainan Economic Development Bureau Director-General Chen Kai-ling (陳凱凌), a former DPP member, was taken into custody on bribery allegations, and city government deputy spokesman Yi Chun-hung (易俊宏) was accused of multiple sexual assaults.
Lin urged Huang to promptly resolve the matters, but the public is still left to wonder: What is wrong with the DPP?
The DPP should have learned its lessons after the elections. Higher-ranking officials must listen to grassroots members. The DPP’s issues with corruption and organized crime have demonstrated the flaws within Taiwan’s democratic system. Members must insist that the DPP resolve these matters to ensure that democratic standards are upheld.
Given Lin’s experience in the DPP and as a member from Tainan, criticism should be taken with sincerity. As a younger member of the party, his view also reflects the values of young Taiwanese. The alarm bells have been ringing for some time. The DPP must listen.
Chang Tsung-chu is a member of the DPP.
Translated by Liu Yi-hung
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